Rhymes with rats.
In the last few nights, the ch-ch, ch-ch sounds coming from our south-facing bedroom wall had become slightly unbearable. I kept thinking it was a restless dog of the next-door neighbors, or that they were doing some wall engravings. Last night, A and I discovered it was neither of these things. And though my conjecture was a rat was in the walls, I wasn’t too far off.
While having a rather serious discussion regarding our dance relationship, we were continuously interrupted by agitated scratching sounds and the occasional muffled “squeee!”
“I don’t like to assume”—Ch-ch, ch-ch—”where I’m going to be led next”—Squee…squee—”because it’s not my idea of tan—”—Ch-ch, squee!
Annoyed by the unsolicited intrusion on my all-too-important sentiment, I stomped toward the wall from which the interruptions spewed and held my ear to it.
This was a bad idea for many reasons. First, the image in my head (a lone rat, perhaps, lost in the walls) exploded into a million vermin, suffocatingly crawling and squirming past each other in a crepuscular frenzy obviously surrounding food. Second, the intense squeaking multiplied several times in volume, sending a harsh chill down my body. Third, I no longer wanted to sleep in this room, ever! Rats, rats filled my mind in every nook and cranny. I had never before now understood Winston Smith’s deathly phobia of these rodents that some of my primary school friends had kept lovingly as pets.
I motioned for A to put his ear up to the wall, and he followed suit; his eyes soon widened as big as mine. Hypothesizing that if it were a rat’s nest, then they’d be all over the garbage, A flung back the curtains to expose the view down from our second story window of the lighted trash can area. Clean as a whistle, so to speak.
But then swoosh! A furiously flapping black blur screamed across our view—a bat! we exclaimed at the glass. It circled around a few times before landing somewhere to the right of our window. We ran over to the wall to listen in again, I guess because we could now picture what was actually happening on the other side (a million bats), which was inexplicably more calming than the idea of a million rats.